Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Define: Person

I have slogged through the Citizens United v FEC opinion [558 US ___ 2010]. The majority opinion hinges on the conceit* that corporations are persons, and thus, must be given the same rights as natural persons (equal rights**), especially those rights of free speech in the political sphere.
Corporations (for profit and not for profit) are made up of persons, and the corporate structure protects those persons. So, pehaps corporations should give up these protections? Or, IMHO, perhaps we need to re-define "person(s)" in our constitution (as in an amendment to our constitution).

10 steps to curtail the corporate state from Fran Korten on Common Dreams:
The problem with these are that they require Congress to act against their own self interest (to be re-elected using corporate $$$$$).
We need a real grassroots movement--perhaps a revolution to recapture the government that was supposed to be "We, the people."

* The term Justice Stevens used in his dissent, p.2
** The absurdist in me is thinking... If corporations have equal rights with persons, I guess they can marry--oh, they already can: there are marriages (aka mergers) between corporations--perhaps then hostile takeovers would be prohibited, since in the USA the concept of freedom of choice is very prevalent in our marriage laws. Exception alert: save the freedom of same sex couples to marry. Does that mean that corporations are more of a person than lesbians and gay men ??

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